Ryder Cup Clippings, Saturday Edition

2006rydercup.jpgDid anyone have some pot bunkers stolen? Well, I've found them. They're on the 18th at The K Club. They fell out of the thieves' truck? Nice job matching the existing hazards.

Oh, and love the tree planting on 17. They have that neo-postmodern Ray Charles thing going for them.

Anyway, they didn't bug Monty, who Mike Aitken reports has been left out of the Saturday morning four-ball despite fine play on Friday.

The media coverage theme is fairly consistent: even with the 5-3 score, the consensus seems to be that the U.S. is in deep trouble. Such cynics!

Lawrence Donegan says Woosie must be pleased with Sergio.

What he will also take over the next two days is more of the same from García, who was magnificent in tandem with his compatriot José María Olazábal as they swept aside David Toms and Brett Wetterich in the morning and equally dazzling as he and Luke Donald defeated the Americans' star pairing of Woods and Jim Furyk in the afternoon foursomes.

Doug Ferguson declares the opening day matches to be the "tightest" in Ryder Cup history

James Lawton says Tiger is a loner and like Bill Macatee hinted today on the telecast, maybe all of this bonding stuff is taking him out of his game.

Woods has a 12-0 lead on Garcia in the majors, but the 26-year-old Spaniard puts on a cape at the Ryder Cup. Garcia is now 12-3-2 in the Ryder Cup, compared with Woods' 8-12-2 record.

The truth is that apart from the odd bolt from the sky, the occasional shot of absolute brilliance, almost everything in the Ryder Cup comes hard to Tiger Woods.

Heaven knows he has tried selflessly enough this time, stopping just short of wrapping himself in the Stars and Stripes and dancing to the tune of "Yankee Doodle-Dandy". In fact he was persuaded the other night to sing his old college song at a team meeting. He has taken rookies out to dinner, he has attempted to "bond" like an eager undergraduate. But always he looks just a little uncomfortable. He is doing something that, however admirable, may not be entirely prompted by his nature, and maybe still less his heart.

As the blue of Europe began to spread all over the scoreboard here, there were times when Tiger looked so out of sorts and out of place he might have been Keith Richards finding himself at the Last Night of the Proms.

The press room highlight of the day, from Sergio:

Q. Estaba hoy tu mejor día del año en golf? (Question in Spanish.)

LUKE DONALD: I'll take this one. (Laughter).

SERGIO GARCIA: Sorry, he's just been telling me that I've been playing shit. And I'm trying to make him realise I've been having a decent summer. (Laughter).

Gary Van Sickle writes:

Yes, the opening day of the 36th Ryder Cup was same-old same-old stuff. The Europeans have the hot players and look like the better team. The Americans' big guns are strangely silent and their players look like the underdogs that they have legitimately become. Captain Tom Lehman stressed that this time the Americans were going to have fun at the Ryder Cup. They're losing, 5-3, after a day in which they managed to win only one of eight matches (and that was the very first one). Fun was hard to come by.

He then outlines three reasons why things don't bode well for the Americans.

John Hawkins could not believe that J.J. Henry wasn't not out there in the afternoon, and you can't blame him for wondering.

Here's what Lehman said about Henry:

Q. Did you at all think about putting J.J. back out in the afternoon as well as he played in the morning? Was that a consideration?

CAPTAIN TOM LEHMAN: Absolutely. J.J. is playing great golf, no question about it.

The partnership that he has with Stewart Cink I think is really, really good. In the alternate shot format, however, Stewart and David Toms play great together as well, and David is such a phenomenal putter. There's just a way things can go out there where one guy can be doing a lot of putting, and David, he's such an excellent putter is the reason why we put those two together. Not to say that J.J. can't putt, just that I think David is one of the best that we have.

Image buffs can check out some day 1 shots from SI and Golfonline.

Thanks to reader Mark for this audio clip features Greg Turner talking about The K Club.

Mike Baker in the The Guardian shares some fun notes from day 1

Here's a little more on the big bets placed on the Cup.

Matt Slater on the BBC blog compiles a great list of the days best quotes.